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Link: • John Clayton to Carl Linnaeus, 21 October 1748 n.s.
Dated Octob X:o Anno aerae Christi MDCCXLVIIIo. Sent from ? () to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


John ClaytonClayton, John (1685-1773).
British/American. Physician and
botanist. Born i England, moved to
Virginia in North America in 1715. His
herbarium collected in Virginia was
published by Johan Frederik Gronovius
and Linnaeus in Flora Virginica
(1739, 1743). Correspondent of Linnaeus.
greets Linnaeus and acknowledges the receipt of a letter from Linnaeus [this letter has not come down to us], which he has read with great pleasure. Like Linnaeus himself, Clayton wishes that Linnaeus could visit Virginia. There is nobody there worth mentioning in botany or in natural history. Clayton studies Linnaeusís works, and especially Hortus CliffortianusLinnaeus, Carl Hortus
Cliffortianus, plantas exhibens quas in
hortis tam vivis quam siccis Hartecampi
in Hollandia coluit [...] Georgius
(Amsterdam 1737). Soulsby
no. 328.
, Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
and Flora LapponicaLinnaeus, Carl Flora
Lapponica exhibens plantas per Lapponiam
crescentes, secundum systema sexuale
collectas in itinere [...] Additis
synonymis, & locis natalibus omnium,
descriptionibus & figuris rariorum,
viribus medicatis & oeconomicis
(Amsterdam, 1737).
Soulsby no. 279.
, day and night.

Clayton was very glad to hear that there were so many plants from Virginia in the Uppsala University Botanical Garden, grown from seeds sent to Linnaeus. Just now, Clayton does not have the seeds of Polygala Collinsonia and Claytonia that Linnaeus was eager to get, but he will collect them during the following summer and send them.

Last August, as soon as he had got the seeds of Claytonia that Linnaeus had sent him, Clayton had planted them in a suitable place in his garden, and he hoped that they would grow and produce seeds.

Clayton has received the four dissertations that Linnaeus had sent him. Clayton encloses a few seeds in this letter, which Clayton will send to Linnaeusís friend Sandin [Johan SandinSandin, Johan (?-1748).
Swedish. Clergyman in New Jersey.
Husband of Anna Margareta Sandin in her
first marriage.
] to be forwarded to Linnaeus.

Clayton had heard from England that Johann Georg GmelinGmelin, Johann Georg
(1709-1755). German. Voyager, botanist
and chemist. At the initiative of
empress Anna of Russia he spent ten
years (1733-1743) exploring Siberia. In
1749 he became professor of botany and
chemistry at Tübingen. Together
with his nephew Samuel Gottlieb he wrote
Flora Sibirica (1747-1769).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had started the printing of his Flora SibiricaGmelin, Johann Georg Flora
Sibirica, sive Historia plantarum
(St Petersburg 1747-1769).
in St. Petersburg, and Clayton would be glad to study it if it proves to be as good as Linnaeusís Flora Lapponica.

Clayton apologizes for his bad Latin. He has been long without practising it in writing or in speech, so he has almost forgotten what he learned in his youth.

Clayton thanks Linnaeus for the great honour shown to him when he was elected a member of the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala [Kungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i UppsalaKungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i
Swedish. The Royal
Society of Sciences at Uppsala was
founded in 1728.
], and he hopes that he will be able to live up to his membership.

The letter ends with Clayton wishing a long and healthy life for Linnaeus, the leading scholar in botany, medicine and literature.


a. (LS, III, 42-43). [1] [2] [3]


1. "Letter of John Clayton to Linnaeus, 1748" (1924), p. 246-248 .